News Digest – International Relations & Foreign Affairs (April 22 – 28, 2021)

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Geopolitics

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Chinese foreign minister to meet Pradeep Gyawali 

A virtual meeting is scheduled on May 27 between Chinese and Nepali Foreign Ministers. In the meeting issues related to management of Covid crisis, including the vaccines will be discussed. China has prioritised the management of Covid-19 in the South Asian Region. 

China has agreed to provide health equipment worth Rs. 1 billion to Nepal. 

Nepal has requested India for support to combat Covid crisis

Government of Nepal has requested Indian Ministry of Health to provide oxygen, Remdesivir and intensive care unit beds to tackle the pandemic. However, the request was made when India itself is struggling to fight against the virus. The foreign policy experts state that seeking assistance from India at this point is very insensitive on the part of Nepal.

Chinese border seal takes a toll on entrepreneurs

China again closed its border to Nepal on January 20 owing to the pandemic. This has severely hit a large number of importing and exporting entrepreneurs. There have been several diplomatic talks between Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chinese government with regard to easing the trade between two countries. Nepali traders have expressed their distress regarding the undeclared trade blockade by China. 

Nepal not part of Boao annual conference

China excluded Nepal from partaking in the conference of the Boao Forum for Asia 2021. The spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that they are unaware as to why Nepal was not invited, despite being one of the founding members. International relation scholars suggest that China is dismayed by the way Nepal’s internal politics has transpired. However, the spokesperson of Chinese embassy has suggested that there is no need to make assumptions from Nepal’s non-participation.

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